PT: In May, I had a hunch.
If Dr. Henry approved, this would be a great summer to take a road trip – a great circle through the southern Okanagan. And I probably wouldn’t be alone as other Lower Mainlanders came to the same conclusion. So I booked out two weeks of accommodation and restaurants.
I figured, in the year of the virus, in my final decades, it was time for a retracing of steps.
My memories of boyhood summers involve cherries, warm lake water, bunchgrass and ponderosa pine, and the kind of landscapes they make jigsaw puzzles out of.
But those memories of the Okanagan in August were only possible because, beginning in the mid-Sixties, Premier WAC Bennett willed the BC Ferries into being and Highways Minister Phil Gaglardi paved the roads to create the demand. My family was part of that demand, when my father could now drive us from Victoria to Skaha Lake in a single day. From rain forest to desert. Over mountain passes in a new Pontiac. Tent trailor attached.
Now I’d return to those places, and compare memory from the mid-20th century with the valley in the 21st – taking an urbanist perspective to the small towns, the tourist beaches, the vineyards and orchards, the retirement suburbs, and the emerging metropolis of the mid-Okanagan. Then on to Revelstoke, Nelson and the loop back home.
I’ll be photographing and posting along the way. For the next two weeks, follow me @pricetags on Instagram.
And send me suggestions, observations and worthy detours in the Comments.